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Student Pregnancy & Expectant Parents

If you become pregnant or an expectant parent during your studies, the University is here to support you.

Expectant Parents

If you think you may be pregnant, you can seek confidential medical advice from the University Health Service or your own GP.

If you are pregnant, you're encouraged to inform the University as soon as possible; whilst you're under no obligation to do so, the University won't be able to provide you with the support you're entitled to if we are unaware.

Should you wish to inform the University, your Personal Academic Tutor or Supervisor can provide you with individual assistance and support or alternatively you can always get in touch with our support staff.


Wellbeing Support

If you find yourself struggling, it can help to talk to someone. Whether you wish to explore your options or you need some emotional or wellbeing support during your pregnancy, the University’s support services are here for you to talk to. To reach out to the Student Wellbeing Team contact the Student Hub.

Academic Support

Your Student Office or Personal Academic Tutor can offer individual assistance and guidance to you during your pregnancy; we encourage you to contact your PAT and talk through your study options.

You may also wish to apply for special considerations or an assignment extension request if your pregnancy affects your studies in any way, such as examinations or any other form of assessment. Further information on special considerations can be found here.

If you are unsure how to contact your PAT, your Student Office will be able to help put you in contact and/or arrange an appointment; you can find out how to contact your School’s Student Office here.

Advice Centre

The Students’ Union’s Advice Centre offers independent and confidential support and advice on a range of issues such as, funding, money management, study arrangements, welfare benefits and employment rights, which may affect you during your pregnancy.

Financial Information and Support

If you are an undergraduate student and who receives funding from Student Finance England (or equivalent funding body), your financial support may stop when you begin maternity leave or take time away from your studies. Students should seek advice from their funding body (for example Student Finance England) or from the Students’ Union Advice Centre.

Available funding

Where you are a home student, you may be eligible for Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP) or Maternity Allowance (MA), and the Sure Start Maternity Grant - for more information please visit the below pages:

Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP)

Maternity Allowance (MA)

Sure Start Maternity Grant

Student Support Fund

If you find yourself in financial hardship whilst studying at the University, the Student Support Fund is designed to help you. Further information on eligibility and how to apply can be found here.

Maternity & Paternity Leave

If you're pregnant, you're entitled to take up to 52 weeks leave from your studies. If you wish to take maternity leave you should apply for suspension from your studies; your Student Office or Personal Academic Tutor will be able to advise you on how to arrange your maternity leave. Being pregnant does not mean that you'll have to leave University or suspend your studies, how long you do or do not take away from your studies is entirely your decision and dependent upon your circumstance; the University can work with you to make suitable arrangements.

Suspension will usually be ‘with services’ so that you can retain library access, access your University email account and Blackboard services.

If you are the father of a child, or partner of a student who is pregnant you may take two weeks paternity leave immediately following the birth of the child (and no later than 56 days after the birth). A request for paternity leave should be made via your Student Office. You must also notify your Personal Academic Tutor or Supervisor.

Please refer to the Student Maternity Policy, at the bottom of the page, for further detail.

Information on Maternity and Shared Parental Leave for Research students can be found here.

New & Expectant Parents' Room

The room, on Highfield Campus, is dedicated to the needs of new and expectant parents. Based in Building 6, the room contains separate areas for resting, socialising and privacy and can used by students, staff and visitors.

The University and Students' Union have a number of facilities across our campuses for new and expectant parents. These can all be located using the University's online campus maps, just select the infant amenities layer to show where they can be found. To gain access to any of the facilities, contact your Student Office who can arrange this for you.

Return to Study

Before returning to your studies, after maternity leave, you should contact your Student Office, Personal Academic Tutor or Supervisor at the earliest opportunity and at least a month prior to your return, in order to discuss your planned date of return and how your return to study will be managed.

The University is committed to supporting our students with parenting responsibilities; you can find information and support for Student Parents here.

International Students

International students should contact the VISAs Team during pregnancy, as they will be able to advise on any visa implications, as well as maternity leave.

The VISAs Team can be contacted online.

Helpful Resources

The following websites can provide information and guidance during pregnancy and for expectant parents.

NHS Pregnancy & Baby Guide

The Family Planning Association

Firgrove Centre

Miscarriage Association

British Pregnancy Advisory Service

National Childbirth Trust


Marie Stopes UK


The University cannot accept responsibility for external websites.

Student Maternity Policy

The University of Southampton's Student Maternity Policy in place to support students who are expectant parents.

Student Maternity Policy
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